Match schedule, regulations and prize money approved
Meeting for the first time on 12 March, the Organising Committee for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, chaired by FIFA Vice-President and CAF President Issa Hayatou, approved the regulations and the match schedule for the competition. The 2009 tournament is to take place at either four or five South African venues from 14 to 28 June.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter highlighted the importance of the competition: "The FIFA Confederations Cup is first and foremost a top football event as it pits the champions of all six confederations, the current world champions and the host country South Africa against each other. At the same time, it is an ideal test run for the organisers of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in terms of infrastructure, logistics and services. As in Germany in 2005, we are looking forward to a festival of champions and thrilling matches."
In order to appropriately reflect the standing of the competition, the committee agreed to award total prize money of USD 17.6 million. The winner will receive USD 3.75 million, while USD 3.25 million will be awarded to the runners-up, USD 2.75 to the third-placed team and USD 2.25 to the fourth-placed team. The teams ranked fifth to eighth will each receive USD 1.4 million.
The committee took note that the competition is intended to be
played at the five venues of Johannesburg (Ellis Park), Rustenburg,
Mangaung/Bloemfontein, Tshwane/Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay/Port
With respect to the last stadium, a final decision will be taken on 29 April as to whether or not the Confederations Cup can be staged there. Given this issue, the committee approved two match schedules, one with five venues and one with four.
Both schedules envisage that South Africa will play at three different venues and contest the opening match, being seeded A1 in the draw. The draw will be held in Johannesburg on Saturday, 22 November in conjunction with a team workshop.
On behalf of the local organising committee (LOC), CEO Dr Danny Jordaan gave a comprehensive report on preparations, highlighting the progress being made in terms of stadium construction, training facilities and other planning and operational matters.
To ensure seamless and efficient cooperation in the build-up to the competition, the committee's composition is designed to reflect the field of teams that will compete in 2009. At the meeting, representatives of Italy (world champions) and hosts South Africa were joined by counterparts from Iraq (Asian champions), Egypt (African champions), the USA (CONCACAF champions) and Brazil (South American champions). EURO 2008 in Switzerland and Austria this June as well as the OFC Nations Cup will determine the two remaining participants and their respective committee members. Should Italy win EURO 2008, the runners up will participate in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
For the release of players, the committee took into account that further international dates have been added to the international match calendar in June 2009. For this reason, the release period will be shortened from 14 to 5 days before the start of the competition.
In his opening speech, the FIFA President also mentioned the visit of South African and Swiss trade unions to FIFA (cf. media release of 11 March) and briefed the LOC on the meeting and its results.
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